(BaseballStL) -- It was just 2 weeks ago that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny pulled his ace, Adam Wainwright in the 7th inning of a Sunday night game against the Texas Rangers. Wainwright later apologized for publicly disagreeing with Matheny that he was "laboring" in that game. Both men would later clear the air over the next couple of days.
The 4th of July brought more fireworks in Anaheim in another Wainwright's start, but not from the Redbird ace. Albert Pujols began the rally with a single in the bottom of the 9th, and Erick Aybar ended the contest with a base hit off Edward Mujica for a demoralizing 6-5 defeat for the Cardinals. It was another controversial ending that had Cardinal fans asking the same question they asked last week. Should Matheny have let Wainwright finish the game? Wainwright was lifted after a Pujols' soft liner to left.
Matheny had these choices in the 9th:
1. Let Wainwright continue despite throwing 104 pitches, and allowing the leadoff hit by Pujols.
2. Lifted Wainwright for lefty Randy Choate to face Josh Hamiltion, who tied the game with a 2 run homer.
3. Let Mujica start the 9th inning.
Matheny was heavily criticized for not allowing Wainwright to finish off his own games. Wainwright has 4 complete games which leads the league, so Matheny has let his ace finish what he's started this season. Unfortunately, Matheny was burned by an Angels lineup that's started to hit its stride. Not to mention Pujols, who was hitless in the series at that point, was bound to break loose at some point. The loss may put more on focus now on Mujica's consistency moving forward, and not whether or not Matheny believes that Wainwright can complete each game that he pitches.